Bromley's Palace Park 4275

Bromley, England, Greater London

Brief Description

Bromley's Palace Park comprises the remains of an 18th-century and 19th-century pleasure ground associated with a house that originated as an episcopal palace, and a late 19th-century public park or garden, which lie close together near the centre of Bromley.

Detailed Description

Bromley’s Palace Park, comprising the remains of a 18th century and 19th century pleasure ground associated with a house that originated as an episcopal palace and a late 19th century public park or garden, lie close together near the centre of Bromley. After changes to the boundary of the bishopric in 1845 the Palace became the private house of Coles Child, a wealthy coal merchant. He extended the house using Richard Norman Shaw as architect (1863), and by 1865 was ornamenting his grounds, employing James Pulham over a five-year period to create what contemporary records describe as a fernery and waterfall. It is the former which stands at the north end of the lake, with the waterfall to the south.

‘Pulhamite’ rock-work was developed by James Pulham (circa 1820-98), the son of one the pioneers of Portland cement manufacture. In the 1840s he began to use this cement as an ingredient in the construction of artificial rock-work. Masses of clinker and scrap brickwork were assembled, cement was poured over them, and they were moulded into boulder-like formations. Various surface finishes produced highly convincing and various artificial rock types, so convincing as at times to deceive naturalists.

The fernery comprises a curving mass of linear, bedded, Pulhamite rockwork, overall approximately 15 metres across and 5 metres deep. Some of the individual rocks are over a cubic metre in size. The rockwork is set in a bank at the head of the north end of the lake, with a central cleft through which water flowed in to a basin at its base and thence 5 metres to St Blaise’s Well which in turn fed directly in to the lake. The rockwork has a brown, sandy exterior finish, although one bedding plane is of a blueish rock which may be natural in origin. In some places the exterior skin has broken off exposing the scrap-brick core of the rockwork.

The waterfall comprises a linear, bedded, mass of Pulhamite rockwork, again overall approximately 15 metres across and 5 metres deep. Some of the individual rocks are over a cubic metre in size. The rockwork is set in the dam which forms the south end of the lake, with a central cleft through which water cascaded to a basin at its base. The rockwork has a brown, sandy exterior finish; in some places the exterior skin has broken off exposing the scrap-brick core of the rockwork.

In the 1980s, especially, development of a large civic centre and associated facilities encroached around these designed landscapes.

Features
Pulhamite, Waterfall, Rockery
History

Detailed History

Please refer to the detailed description for information about this park's history.
Associated People

Just one person associated to Bromley's Palace Park

References

References